By MALUM NALU
Hundreds of people converged on the indoor complex at Sir John Guise Stadium yesterday for the launching of Agriculture and Livestock Minister Sir Puka Temu's brand-new Our Development Party.
Truckloads of villagers from Sir Puka's Abau electorate in Central, a large contingent from Southern Highlands, many more from around the country, as well as invited guests packed the indoor stadium to capacity for the launch.
Unlike other party launchings, which are usually held in restaurants, this one was held in public with no-one paying to attend.
People feasted on taro, bananas, yams, sago, fish and crabs brought especially for the launching of ODP.
Guests included Public Service Minister and Lae MP Bart Philemon representing the government, Treasurer and Kandep MP Don Polye, Koroba-Lake Kopiago MP John Kekeno, senior public servants and members of the business community.
Following the launching by New Generation Party leader, Philemon, donations and pledges totaling almost K500, 000 were made.
Live entertainment was provided by dance groups from Abau, Tari in Southern Highlands, Telefomin in West Sepik and Bougainville.
Sir Puka told a cheering crowd that ODP was ready, willing and able to take on the challenge to build a bigger, better and brighter future for Papua New Guinea.
"Like you all, Our Development Party was established and motivated by our strong belief that our young nation needs visionary, strong and smart leadership if we are to achieve sustainable economic growth and prosperity for every citizen," he said.
"Our vision is to transform our people and our nation by transforming our mindset and attitudes, providing the framework to reform and align our institutions and systems so that all our citizens enjoy the highest quality of life that PNG is offering.
"Currently, our economy is dominated by mining and energy sectors contributing an estimated 80% of our total export revenue.
"We believe the best way to achieve strong and sustainable broad-based economic development for the future is to focus on our strengths, which are our people and our vast renewable resources such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism.
"We will therefore manage and leverage the revenues from the mining and energy sectors to build and develop world-class and internationally-competitive agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism sectors in the future."
Sir Puka said he was the architect and champion of the PNG Vision 2050 and would ensure that this served as a cornerstone for the future.